Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Walter Whitman Storms to Walt Whitman, 12 January 1874

Date: January 12, 1874

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01947

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial notes: The annotation, "Walter W. Storms Jan. 12, 1874," is in the hand of Walt Whitman. The annotation, "15," is in an unknown hand.

Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Elizabeth Lorang, Eder Jaramillo, John Schwaninger, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Caterina Bernardini, Marie Ernster, Amanda J. Axley, and Stephanie Blalock

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Jan 12th/741

Mr. Whitman
My Dear Sir

I received your letter on the 8th,2 & was very glad to hear from you. I wrote to you, about [18?] months ago; I wrote twice, but, as I did not get an answer, I concluded that you had not received them. Then I saw in the paper, that you were out in Canada, taking your vacation, so I did not write again, not knowing where to direct. I am sorry to hear that you have been sick, but glad to hear that you are getting well again.3 You asked about my Grand-Mother,4 she is alive, but, I cannot say well. She has had the Asthma pretty bad, but is not so much troubled with it now. She has the dropsy also. She has not been in bed for nearly a month, & is entirely deprived of the use of her legs.

The rest of us are enjoying pretty good health. I have 3 Brothers, Garrie, Georg, & Richard, & one sister, Mary5 Garrie [illegible] years old Geo. 10, Mary 7, Dick 6 & Walt 15. Grand Mother 87.

I go to school every day, to the public school. I attended an Academy last winter, but, my teacher went away, so I stopped going there

We are having a very mild winter, the ground having been bare for a week or two, & no frost in the ground. Uncle George6 was up here last fall to see Grand Mother, but has not been here since. You wrote me a very short letter, so it would not look well for me to write a long one. I hope you will come up & see Grand Mother & the rest of us as soon as you get able. We have been repairing the house & have plenty of room

I thank you very much for all you have sent me. I would send you my picture but I want you to come & see me myself.

& very much Oblidge
Your loving friend
Walt. Whitman Storms

P.S. Please excuse the writing as I am a very poor writer.

Walt Whitman Storms (probably born in 1858; see the letter from Herman Storms to Walt Whitman, January 11, 1865) was the son of Herman Storms (1822–1898) and the nephew of George Storms (1829–1886), both New York drivers.


1. This letter is addressed: Mr. Walt. Whitman | 431 Stevens st. Cor. West. | Camden, N.J. It is postmarked: Paskack | JAN [illegible]. Only the month of the postmark is legible. The date "15" has been added to the postmark in ink. [back]

2. This letter has not been located. [back]

3. In January 1873, Whitman suffered a paralytic stroke that made walking difficult. He first reported it in his January 26, 1873, letter to his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman (1795–1873), and continued to provide regular notes on his condition. By mid-March Whitman was taking brief walks out to the street and began to hope that he could resume work in the office. See also his March 21, 1873, letter to his mother. [back]

4. Leah Storms (b. 1787–1874) was the mother of Herman Storms (1822–1898) and the grandmother of Walter Whitman Storms (1858–1918). According to the U. S. Federal Census for 1870, Leah Storms was then living with her son and grandson in New Jersey. [back]

5. Here, Walt Whitman Storms is referring to his siblings. His brothers were Garret Storms (1861–1945), George Storms (1863–1888), and Richard Storms (1867–1939). He also had a sister, Mary Storms (1866–1905). Walter Whitman Storms and his siblings were the children of Herman Blauvelt Storms (1822–1898) and his wife Maria Eckerson Storms (1835–1914). [back]

6. George Storms was a New York driver, and the uncle of Walt Whitman Storms, with whom Whitman corresponded in the 1870s. [back]


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